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Events, Connections Get Semester Off to Strong Start

By Felicia Krieg
August 2016

Throughout move-in weekend and into opening week, the campus community came together in welcoming the newest Cardinals, the class of 2020, to the college while warmly receiving upperclassmen back to Cardinal Country.

Several events are slated for opening week as new students become familiar with their surroundings and returning students reconnect with classmates and continue their studies.

  • On Tuesday, Aug. 30, Black Onyx, the black student union, (formerly AKEBA) will host How Many More Lives Vigil in Amite Plaza at 6 p.m.
  • The first-ever CommUNITY night is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2 at Hawkins Pond. The event will feature free ice cream, live music, speakers and a candle-lighting ceremony.
  • Starting on Friday, Sept. 2, an on-campus farmers’ market will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday in September in front of the Angell College Center. Among the items that will be available for purchase are fresh produce, apples, maple syrup and baked goods.

Move-In Day

More than 1,000 freshmen moved to Plattsburgh on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Numerous fraternity and sororities were well represented on move-in day, helping students move their belongings into their residence halls. Deans, faculty members and staff also helped studied carry bins, boxes and bags to their rooms.

“It went smoothly,” Kathleen Rebis of Broadalbin, N.Y. said as she unpacked her things in her Moffitt Hall room. “I barely had to bring anything up because everyone was helping.”

Her roommate, Brooke Benna of Oakland, N.J., agreed.

“It was actually really quick and easy,” Benna said. She will play on the Cardinal women’s basketball team in the winter.

“I’m excited to start taking classes, meeting new people,” Benna said.

Students and their families enjoyed a picnic lunch and carnival games that afternoon in front of Champlain Valley Hall.

Freshmen Ryan Mullins of Mahopac, N.Y. said he’s looking forward to snowboarding on Whiteface Mountain this winter. The ski area, which was an Olympic venue in both the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympics, is 45-minute drive from campus. Students get a special reduced rate on season passes.

Mullins’s mother and father, Suzanne and Stan, and his older brother, Liam, helped Ryan get settled in to his room in Whiteface Hall.

View Move-In Weekend '16 Facebook Photo Gallery

“The elevator was pretty cramped but we did it,” Ryan said as he ate lunch under the tent with his family.

Suzanne said it is clear to her that Plattsburgh was the right choice for her son.

“When I walk around here, every aspect (of the college) is him,” she said.


The following day, the 126th class of freshmen was officially enrolled into the Cardinal family at a matriculation ceremony in E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium.

In his address to the new students, Dr. James Liszka, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the word “university” comes from the Latin word “guild.”

“A special kind of guild—it’s a guild of knowledge. You are being admitted into an apprenticeship, a community of scholars, a community of inquiry and to special knowledge that you will receive from professors, but also from each other,” Liszka said.

Student Association President Michael Kimmer and student speaker Ryann Senzan ’19 encouraged students to get involved in campus groups and activities.

“It’s OK if you come here and you have no idea what you want to do,” Senzan said. “Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow as a person. College is about growth so get uncomfortable.”

When President John Ettling took the stage, he asked students to be open to broadening their perspectives in a way they likely haven’t before in their previous educational experiences.

‘Learn from Each Other’

“Today you set your feet on a new path that provides more freedom to explore knowledge, develop good communication skills, deepen your ability to work collaboratively, explore ways to improve social justice, increase your adaptability and develop ways to resolve conflicts,” Ettling said.

He implored students to engage in meaningful, respectful conversation on the controversial issues that matter to them and society at large.

“This is a place where we openly explore and debate difficult topics,” Ettling said.

“As a community there is a lot we can learn for each other. Respect for others’ opinions, even when you strongly disagree, is valued deeply here at SUNY Plattsburgh.”

“Expect to be challenged. We look forward to inspiring your progress and celebrating your achievements.”

Upcoming Events

  • Registration is open for Family Weekend, which starts Friday, Sept. 23.
  • Current students are invited to participate in traditions new and old during Homecoming Weekend, set for Oct. 14 and 15. This year’s weekend will again feature a bonfire.


Additional photos can be found at our Move-In Weekend 2016 Facebook Photo Gallery (no login required to view the photos).

Photo of Burghy hugging students during Fall 2016 opening weekend


Contact Information

For more information about SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Phone: (518) 564-2040
Toll-free: (888) 673-0012